How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord…
Whether we look at the source from which salvation originates, or the objects to whom it is extended; at the depth of misery from which it delivers, or at the height of glory to which it exalts; at the long train of prophecies by which it was introduced, or at the stupendous display of miracles by which it was established, we cannot but be deeply impressed with its magnitude and importance. There is one circumstance, however, which wonderfully augments these impressions, the unparalleled excellence and dignity of the Person by whom this salvation was perfected.
I. The first argument which I shall adduce results from THE VERY NATURE AND CONSTITUTION OF THINGS. They who neglect the great salvation of the gospel must, from the necessary connection between causes and effects, he involved in everlasting destruction. For what is the salvation of the gospel? It is salvation from sin. Should the drowning man neglect to lay bold of the only hand stretched out to save him; should the sick man neglect to follow the only prescription which can administer a cure: what, in all these several instances, must be the inevitable consequence? Death. Neglecting to improve the only opportunity vouchsafed to them of procuring the removal of their guilt, they must sink down for ever under the curse and burden of unpardoned sin.
II. Another argument arises from THE PECULIAR AND AGGRAVATED GUILT OF NEGLECTING SO GREAT SALVATION. The gospel is a remedy which we are constrained by the most powerful obligations to apply: a remedy, the neglect of which argues not only the most daring folly, but the most malignant wickedness, and consequently involves a degree of criminality which exhibits in a still stronger light the impossibility of escaping. To neglect the salvation of the gospel is to violate a positive command of God. It is also to pour contempt on His most glorious perfections. The gospel is the richest display of mercy to fallen man, the consummation of the Divine wisdom and love.
(E. Cooper, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;